I have been quite deliberate in keeping my monthly GRAM beer reviews (save for one) to beers brewed by independent Australian breweries.
The local industry is vibrant and robust yet still has a way to go to catch up with our friends in the UK, Europe, USA and perhaps even New Zealand. It’s this point and my inclination to root for the underdog that convinced me to showcase local heroes who fight the good fight minus the big marketing budget. But, like a well earnt holiday reinvigorates the soul and broadens the mind, it can prove beneficial to look to other parts of the world to see why independent craft beer production and consumption is far from a fad – it’s officially a “thing”.
Rock n’ Roll loving beer tragics Greg Koch and Steve Wagner met through mutual friends and established Stone Brewing in 1996 as a statement of defiance against the tyrannical duopoly controlling the American beer industry. Like any business, these guys had to endure many ups and downs but fast forward to 2016 and Stone Brewing grown to be one of the largest craft brewers in America and, once their Berlin site is complete very soon, will be the first American craft brewer to own and operate a brewery in Europe. While this success is amazing for a couple of guys that have stuck to their beliefs about beer, its contents and ownership, I guess one could point out the irony of the Berlin move given Stone preach a genuinely local ethos. Others would say, “Who cares as long as the beer is good”. I’ll allow you guys to make your own minds up.
Anyway, let’s talk about this beer. Stone’s Go To IPA came out in early 2014 riding the wave of requests from their customers for a tasty, hop forward beer that they can enjoy all day. The result was a superb drinking experience brewed with 8 different hops and a well-rounded malt backbone that gives you a strong tropical fruit hit on the nose, a controlled hoppy hit at 65 IBU’s and enough cerebral coherence to talk all night about the footy, why Vikings is a better TV series than Game Of Thrones or the new Snapchat filters or… whatever! It is a beer that would sit just as comfortably on a table at a high-end restaurant as it would in a stubby holder at the beach. Definitely a Go To IPA. Available at most good beer venues and bottle shops around Melbourne and regional Victoria. Cheers!
Go To IPA – Stone Brewing
ABV: 4.5% Style: India Pale Ale Serving Temp: 4 degrees Origin: Escondido, San Diego California (US) Food pairing: Spicy Mexican Price (RRP): Bar or Restaurant $9-12 (355ml) Buy it here:experienceitbeverages.com.au